By Chris Gore | December 10, 2001

This film has not yet been reviewed. Check back later for the complete review here on FilmThreat.com. Synopsis: In Empire, the American Dream is no different on Wall Street than the streets of the South Bronx. In this exceedingly handsome and accomplished effort, writer/director Franc. Reyes tells the story of a talented young Latino hustler aspiring to make a legitimate life for himself and his new family with captivating authenticity and a superb eye for detail.

Victor Rosa (John Leguizamo) is all about the mighty dollar and fashions himself as a businessman on par with Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Bill Gates. With an iron fist, he runs a successful “street pharmaceutical” business that peddles a heroin mix he has named Empire. His beautiful fiancée, Carmen, a Baruch College student, befriends a classmate with an investment-banker boyfriend, Jack Wimmer. Victor meets Jack, and they instantly connect. Both are hard-core businessmen from two different sides of the legal fence. When Jack offers Victor a piece of the action on the stock market, he sees his ticket out of the violent streets of the South Bronx and jumps at the opportunity. But there is a bigger price to be paid than clean money for his gorgeous new Soho lifestyle. For the first time, Victor is confronted with a price tag that he will find difficult to pay.

Loaded with an all-star cast and a fantastic original score by multi-Grammy Award winner and Latin music legend, Rubén Blades, Empire is an entertaining, colorful, action-filled crime story with an intimate heart. Reyes gives us insight into the personal struggle of defining the American Dream when you’re a Latino man like Victor Rosa.

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